Dickens as a public reader in the last decade of his life.
This week Ian investigates a little known side of Charles Dickens's career - that of a public reader.
During the last decade of his life, Dickens toured Britain and America with a series of readings which members of the public could attend for the sum of one penny.
Dickens brought to life characters from his stories, such as Scrooge, with astonishing verve and artistry.
Professor Malcolm Andrews, author of a new book on the subject, joins Ian to uncover the history of Dickens the performer.
Also in the studio with them will be Jane Davis, who runs contemporary penny readings and who campaigns for public reading as a means to boost social inclusion.
Also, in honour of Dickens, there'll be three serialised gripping short stories, penned by the acclaimed children's author, Philip Ardagh.
There'll also be haunting performance from the spoken word artist Malika Booker and the poet Fiona Sampson begins the first of a three part guide to great Scandinavian poetry.
Charles Dickens and His Performing Selves by Malcolm Andrews is published by Oxford University Press.
The Reader: http://www.thereader.co.uk/.
The Eddie Dickens Trilogy and The Further Adventures of Eddie Dickens by Philip Ardagh are published by Faber Children's Books.
The Kalavela translated by Francis Peabody Magoun Junior is published by Harvard University Press.
Poetry Review www.poetryreview.org.uk
Contemporary Finnish Poetry translated by Herbert Lomas is published by Bloodaxe.
Unplanned by Malika Booker is at the Battersea Arts Centre in London from 10th to 29th April. http://www.myspace.com/malikaunplanned